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Outline and Evaluate Mindfulness as a Therapy in Positive Psychology

Autor:   •  June 23, 2018  •  Essay  •  788 Words (4 Pages)  •  118 Views

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The positive approach has a huge focus on happiness, optimism and subjective (perceived) well-being. These three key issues help make up the need for mindfulness as a therapy. Mindfulness holds a huge emphasis on focusing on the present moment, removing the autopilot our mind takes to focus on the past or the future. Mindfulness has three key components: gaining control of thoughts, meditation and mindful breathing and informal practising of mindfulness.

The first component is gaining control of thoughts. This involves training us to focus on our thoughts, emotions and feelings, focusing on the present. The aim of this is to gain awareness of unhelpful or negative thoughts in order to gain control over them. Negative automatic thinking, which is what mindfulness aims to reverse, can lead to anxiety and depression, and as a result, mindfulness can help people with anxiety and depression. There has been evidence to back up this claim. Teasdale et al in 2000 used MBCT (mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) on 145 depressed patients. They were allocated treatment randomly to whether they would receive TAU or TAU plus 8 classes of MBCT. The findings were that the more episodes somebody had been through, the more MBCT helped. It did not have an effect on those with 2 episodes of depression but reduced the risk of relapse in those who had three or more previous episodes. However, Lazarus carried out a similar study, with the same population, and reported that some of his patients had serious disturbances. Mark Williams, also, failed to find any effects overall people were as likely to become depressed again whether they had MBCT or not.

The second component is meditation and mindful breathing. This relates to developing mindfulness skills as it removes an individual from their daily interactions. Guided meditation, which is more commonly used, involves the client sitting in a comfortable position and keeping control and attention on their breathing. This prevents negative thoughts from coming to mind and allows the client to reprocess internal experiences, reducing stress. A study, carried out by Reibel et al, found that MBSR decreased levels of anxiety in 136 patients who participated in 8-week programmes involving 20 minutes of meditation a day. Farias and Wikolm mentioned a study in the New Scientist found that practising mindfulness for 20 minutes a day resulted in higher levels of

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